SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 83 February, 2017.
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.
Greetings from down under where the extreme weather conditions continue to prevail, with heat waves and tropical storms, flash flooding and bush fires raging in Western Australia. Now is a very good time to hop on board the Queen Mary 2 which is heading into Sydney and have a mini cruise, one week or three days. Alternatively you can sail on her for 67 nights from Sydney to Southampton.
This luxury liner is the flagship of the fleet and offers the last word in travel elegance, from the largest ballroom at sea to the sumptuous Commodore Club. With the only Kennels @ Sea and the most comprehensive library @ Sea, dine when the mood takes you plus endless entertainment. Q.M.2 is the best.
Five nights cruise from Sydney to Hobart, and Brisbane. Interact with everything from dolphins to wallabies, beautiful scenery, pristine beaches, and sparkling water, relax and cool down.
Hobart is the capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania. Nestled amongst the foothills of Mt. Wellington, Hobart combines heritage charm with a modern lifestyle in a setting of exceptional beauty, and is one of the top ten spots to visit in the world. With its captivating history, picturesque scenery, and gourmet experience, it is also the second oldest capital after Sydney, with a fascinating history.
Port Arthur is a quaint village and best known for the well-preserved penal colony buildings of the nearby historical site. Set on top of the Tasman Peninsular, Port Arthur is a great base to explore and discover the area’s natural attractions, its dramatic coastal rock formations and towering cliffs.
The Port Arthur Historical site was established in 1830 to house the most notorious convicts; it is full of powerful stories of hardship and loss and is one of Tasmania’s most rewarding travel experiences. The dark history contrasts greatly with the beauty of the surroundings, with its unique rock formations Remarkable Cave and beautiful waterways like Crescent Bay.
Tasmania is a natural island, a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests, with a third of the state reserved in a network of National Parks and The Wilderness World Heritage Area is a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana. The Aborigine history of Tasmania is extremely rich and fascinating.
Brisbane is the sunny, sophisticated capital city of Queensland. Combine art and outdoor adventure in Brisbane, where creative spaces, music, and hip new restaurants meet pretty riverside gardens and man-made beaches.
For adventure you can climb Brisbane’s Story Bridge, with panoramic views across the city, north to the Glasshouse Mountains and South to the World Heritage-listed Gold Coast hinterland. Then abseil back down to the Anchor Pier, and face the glistening river and cityscape.
Soak up the arts at the Queensland Art Gallery and Modern Art with a collection of more than 17,000 works. Brisbane also boasts an exciting live music scene; check “The Triffid” and “Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall” an all-American saloon with live country music and Southern bar snacks.
Brisbane’s coastline is dotted with idyllic islands. Moreton Island is just a 70 minute ferry ride, and is the third largest sand island in the world. Most of the island is National Park, creating a blissful paradise of sandy beaches, bush and lagoons. North Stradbroke Island is affectionately known as “Straddie” and just forty minutes ferry ride from the bay side town of Cleveland. There are three villages on the island- Dunwich, Amity and Point Lookout, all fringed by stunning surf beaches, calm blue bays, and tranquil lakes. Explore the island by bicycle and spot migrating whales between the months of June and October. Enjoy.
Here at Shelly Beach all is well and to my surprise discovered that I had a cuckoo in the nest. This beautiful bird appeared sitting on the back wall surrounded by its foster parents, four yellow wattle birds. Known as a Koel, it is most unusual to see one in a garden as they are birds of the forest and big brush country. With a distinctive call of ‘coo-ee’ or ‘ko-el’ loud and clear. It had been nesting in a large tree in the rear of the garden, and once able to fly just appeared. Sadly it has now gone, but not my other birds.
With the extreme heat the birds are pleased to find water in the garden along with wild seed, and they even like porridge. Multi coloured lorikeets are the most plentiful, also white parrots. These large birds are pure white in colour and very conspicuous, together with the pink and grey galahs they make a distinctive sight. My usual birds have to take second place being smaller; however, they all get a fair share of tucker. The fairy wren is still a favourite, with exquisite colouring and daintily hopping to and fro, and of course the Kookaburra. I am indeed very fortunate and love them all.
My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, and The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain” are available on Amazon, Xlibris and my website.